My Priorities

Here’s what I think are the most urgent needs of our country.

  • restoring equality among citizens

We are so divided along economic and class lines that the value of the individual citizen has been degraded.  We are all equal as citizens, and we are all of equal value to the nation.  The primacy of citizen voices for politics has to be restored.  I will develop programs for constant, organized feedback from citizens to government, including annual referenda on such things as how much should be spent on healthcare.  The Congress is supposed to be our link between citizens and government, but Congress has gotten so focused on the power struggle between parties that we citizens never know what they actually think or how they are conducting our business.

  • restoring amity and acceptance among citizens

Our divisions have been magnified until we perceive those who are different as enemies.  We must learn to be more comfortable with difference, through greater understanding of others’ beliefs and needs.  We should also care more about each other’s welfare, through developing greater empathy and recognizing our similarities. We are all Americans, in the same boat, and we must work together to benefit all Americans, rather than trying to get more for ourselves and “win” by making others live as we think they should.

  • encouraging truth in politics

There is such a thing as truth, even in this post-modern, post-facts environment, and it is our duty as citizens to seek to understand our situation and issues as well as we can, so that we can elect the right people.  Otherwise, we will be completely at the mercy of those who seek personal power.  I will always tell you the truth about what is going on, including who in government is keeping us from making necessary progress.

  • diminishing the power of the two major political parties

Having two behemoth parties has suppressed political discussion in the
legislative process, since the parties funnel all discussion of their members into only two final positions.  This eliminates much of our potential creativity in
solving problems, and voting by party gives us a skewed picture of what our Congresspersons and Senators actually think.  Congress needs our individual input, and Congresspersons should vote what individually they actually believe
rather than how the party tells them to vote. 

  • establishing compromise as the norm for our democracy

Democracy is ideally a system of gathering the equally valuable input from all
citizens and then fashioning the best solutions possible at the moment for each and every problem.  Democracy should not be about who can “win” and force everyone else to do as they direct; it must be about making the best compromises possible on every issue.  The current emphasis on winning leads to the parties putting off even voting on needed proposals if they cannot win at that moment, which leads to ineffective and then erratic government as they overturn previous “wins” by the other side.  I will work for effective and acceptable compromises for all of our problems.  This will mean some citizens will have to give up their crusades to force their moral beliefs and attitudes oneveryone else!

  • reforming our tax system and attitudes

Taxes should be based each year on how much Congress appropriated the previous year, because we should “pay as we go” rather than increasing the national debt.  This will cure the deficit problem.  Taxes are to pay for what we together decide to do as a country, and if citizens don’t like the amount of their taxes, then paying the next year for the previous year’s appropriation will lead immediately to electing new persons to Congress.  Taxes are not something to be avoided, and we should not idolize those who do best at avoiding paying their share.

  • making elections about who can do the job best

The job of President is too important to be a popularity contest.  We should always elect the person who is best qualified to actually do the job.  (See my analysis of the job of President and the skills required, below on this website and at\presidentialchoice.)

  • jobs for all and wages for a decent life

We have a large proportion of jobs that do not pay enough to live on.  To address this, we should get more people working (by public support if not by our businesses), and all jobs should pay enough to have a “decent life” (through shared support by our taxes and our businesses).

  • encouraging civil discourse on political issues among citizens

It is not difficult to understand how to have useful, civil discussions about
difficult issues, though it may be difficult to actually implement the steps
required (basically seeking to understand others’ views and share you own,
without seeking to convert the other person to your point of view).  I will exemplify this approach in my interactions with Congress and with all citizens.

  • encouraging better emotional health for citizens

The principles of good emotional health are not difficult to understand (basically, seeking to be happy through our productive actions, having adequate self-worth, and having an adequate sense of security, while valuing and not harming others.  We have not prepared our children well for coping with the complex world we have created, and I will make public information and methods available for doing a better job of childrearing and of getting along with each other as equal citizens!

  • revising our immigration policy

The treatment of immigrants at our southern border, including our unwillingness to pay for staffing and other resources adequate to do any better, is a national disgrace.  Only by having an up-to-date immigration law (which Congress refuses to attempt) can we do any better.  I will press for a new law and for the money to do the job right.